Sponsor Spotlight: Charlie Hilbrant Films

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Charlie Hilbrant Films is another one of our fantastic (and incredibly artistic) sponsors for this year’s Wedtoberfest. Charlie and his team make personalized cinematic films for Chicago’s coolest couples. It all started when he was asked to work on local Chicago movie sets, and was inspired to try his own hand at filmmaking after his wife’s friend asked him to film her wedding. He bought his first camera for that wedding and still uses it to this day. And the rest is history. 

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What inspired you to start your business?
My friend Ryan Moore, who is a wedding photographer (and who is also a vendor for this year’s Wedtoberfest), inspired me. His skill and artistic devotion has increased exponentially since we met and I remember thinking, ‘I want to be like THAT guy’. He is constantly improving his craft and finding new angles, lighting, and composition to bring the emotion of a split-second out of a photograph. Wedding filmmaking is no different from photography in the sense that it’s up to me to showcase the emotions in a 12-hour day using what often ends up being a 10 or 12 minute film. I like the pressure of having ONE chance to nail the focus and camera movement that will be recorded in history forever – you can’t really ask a bride to walk down the aisle twice because you weren’t ready.

Why do you think it’s important to support local and small businesses? What are some advantages to hiring a small business?
I know couples who hired large corporate photo/video vendor companies for their weddings. These companies then have separate workers edit the images back at a large office/conglomerate type environment – editors who weren’t even at the wedding! These couples were trying to save money on their budget but ultimately ended up being disappointed. It’s important to support small local businesses because each customer’s satisfaction matters immensely to the success of that small business’ future. A corporation doesn’t care if a few flowers were dead…they’ve got a thousand more brides lined up, Yelp reviews be damned. However, the local wedding florist might not be able to pay her rent if something goes wrong. Budgeting for a wedding is difficult, but it’s important to remember that the one-man-band or local mom and pop shop HAS to get it right each time; I think this is something worth investing a little extra in.

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What prompted you to sponsor Wedtoberfest/why are you excited to be a sponsor?
Carlene from Naturally Yours Events has referred me to some amazing wedding clients, many of whom I’ve remained friends with since their weddings. I enjoy meeting new couples and hopefully Wedtoberfest will be yet another way to build some long lasting relationships with couples who trust me to tell the story of their wedding day.

If you had to choose two beers or two bubblies to provide at your wedding, what would they be?
I was actually tasked with this decision at my own wedding in 2013…Half Acre Daisy Cutter and Corona. Daisy Cutter has been a favorite of mine since they started making it and Coronas remind me of hanging out at the lake with my family.

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What do you think makes Chicago a great place to have a wedding?
Chicago is home to some of the most interesting people in the world. We set the bar pretty high and don’t easily take ‘no’ for an answer. This is reflected in Chicago’s unique architecture, passion for good food and celebrations, and desire for long-lasting organic relationships. You notice the Chicago-ness of each wedding when you see how heavily invested each vendor is in making the day go perfectly. Nobody phones it in; the planners work perfectly in unison with the florist, caterer, venue, photographer, etc to ensure each detail has as much heart and soul as the moxie that built this awesome city in the first place.

What is your favorite way to enjoy a beer?
My favorite way to enjoy a beer is with my dad or father-in-law grilling out, hearing their stories and talking about the future we’re going to enjoy as a family.

Make sure to look out for the amazing short videos Charlie Hilbrant Films has created of the Wedtoberfest beer sponsors. We will be featuring them this week as a countdown to the event that’s happening next Thursday, September 17th! Make sure to purchase your tickets online while you still can.